All posts by Kirsi Korhonen

About Kirsi Korhonen

Internationalist by heart and profession. Owner and founder of International Fox Agency

Confidence Boost webinar

Photo by Burst on

Dear jobseekers,

Finding a job is hard, especially in these time, even though you are awesome! Let us boost your confidence with our stories. Join us online on Thursday 26.11. from 4.30 pm to 6 pm.

We all know that looking for a job takes a lot of work. Sometimes we wonder if there’s something wrong since we are not landing our dream job, or any job, even though we would be great employees. Recruitment policies vary, you never know what the company is looking for, who is the competition, etc. The list of variants is endless. Except for you. YOU are the key.

Come get your confidence boost from our lovely speakers’ shared stories and experiences. Tanja Malo, Mina Kostova and Vivian Maar will share their experiences and tips on staying positive and confident, learning your true worth and building on that to land a job. You need to believe that you are right for the job and for your life. We’ll give you the boost to get there!

Our speakers have versatile backgrounds in job search, recruitment and boosting self confidence. Vivian Maar is an empowerment coach and host of the Girls Get Powerful Youtube channel. She will talk about strengthening your self-worth and compassion towards yourself, and tips on how to handle our inner critic. Vivian brings in the NLP perspective and talks about our mind relates to the job seeking experience.

Mina Kostova is a brain-based coach and a soft skills trainer who believes that change comes from within, and it is a personal choice, but it is inevitable. In this sense, the best way to support others is to facilitate their self-directed learning process and help them to do the job. Mina believes that self-confidence can be trained like a muscle, and as much we train it as stronger it becomes. Here comes a few tips on how you can keep yours fit. 

Tanja Malo is an international HR professional who is passionate about helping others to succeed in their careers. She is an enthusiastic thinker looking for solutions for more accepting working culture and gladly sharing her experiences to empower others. She will talk about confidence, finding ways to decrease tension and anxiety related to job search, and share some tips for practicing these skills. Your hostess Kirsi Korhonen will make sure your questions are addressed and we don’t experience technical hitches.

The event is free of charge and open to all. It will be in English. The event will not be recorded to ensure for a safe and comfortable environment for sharing personal experiences.

Sign-up for the event through EventBrite. We will send you a link and instructions on how to enter the meeting before the event.

Any questions on the webinar can be directed to

You are most warmly welcome!

IFA granted Innovation Voucher by Business Finland

Excellent news! We are happy to announce that International Fox Agency has received an Innovation Voucher from Business Finland to develop the next phase of our digital service PocketRelo.

IFA is partnering with CYF Digital Services to develop PocketRelo further so that it supports employers in international recruitment. PocketRelo HR (working title) will help any organisation employing international talents to keep up to date on their duties as the process moves along from recruitment to induction.

With the new version, IFA aims to support SMEs and other organisations with their internationalisation efforts and activities on a practical and significant level. We are very excited to partner with CYF who have experience in creating similar multifunction platforms and share our enthusiasm for facilitating internationalisation and diversity in local communities.

We would like to thank Business Finland for believing in our idea and CYF Digital Services for helping us develop our ideas into concrete plans.

For more information on PocketRelo HR and how IFA can help also your organisation outline and implement your internationalisation goals, contact Kirsi or Tanja at

IFA innovation voucher

Foxes Spotted at Startup Sauna

Do you know what an accelerator is? Something speeding things up, sure, but who are they really for, and what happens in one? International Fox Agency tried one in the autumn of 2018. And it put a real big grin on each fox’s face!


Sometime last autumn Kirsi heard about something called Kiuas Start (Pre-)Accelerator. We knew that there were some accelerators in Finland and that they were intense workshops for tech ideas, but that’s about it. After a discussion with a more experienced person on our grand plan for IFA, we thought it might be worthwhile to try this accelerator thing ourselves too. The only challenge was to get into one of them. Luckily Kiuas Start’s application period was still ongoing, so we did what anyone does on a Saturday night over a glass of wine and applied for it.

To our positive surprise, we got into the interview! In the interview, we got excited about our grand plan, as we always do, and that might have just been the thing to get us in. Since we did get in, and suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of the startup hustle and bustle, tech talk and business hype. Our backgrounds seemed somewhat different to many of the other participants but luckily we don’t lack courage, and bravely went where few MA’s have gone before.

Again, to our positive surprise and encouragement, we found a lot of like-minded people at Kiuas Start. All of us participants were there to realise some goal. Many of us had a product to develop and the three-week programme certainly made all our plans go forward leaps and bounds. We went through the whole process of product development and got lots of useful feedback from our peers. We gained a lot of experience and valuable tips from mentors such as Pia Erkinheimo, Tomi Kaukinen, Risto Siilasmaa and Jari Jaanto.  Every session gave food for thought and practical ideas for service development.

Kiuas hommia_2

Photo: Matti Lehti gives Tanja valuable tips on website building.

The whole programme was very well structured. The three weeks were intense, full of talks, interactive sessions, workshops, even a hackathon, and of course, fun times. The organisers put in a lot of effort and facilitated a great programme for all of us. And we were all expected to deliver. too All participants were expected to come to the weekly meetings and all other sessions, deliver on their weekly goals, present their products and much more. The group was really supportive and our time together was very well spent.  We want to thank everyone in the program again for everything, the support, the cheer and the spirit.

It was a great privilege for us to participate in this program and we truly appreciate having this opportunity. We made many good connections and continue to keep in touch with our peers and mentors. In addition to learning more about business, strategy and our products, networking was the greatest advantage for us. We also had a private plan of using our own networks to help others and were happy to share some connections with 2/3 of the teams.

Junction guys_2

Photo: Networking with Hack Junction’s Aleksi and Iiro

We wanted to share our experience at Kiuas Start Accelerator to encourage others to join too. If you have an idea about a service/product etc. and you find a suitable accelerator in your area, try it! It might be just the boost you need to get started! It’ll definitely give you confidence, great networks and good experiences to build on.

The application period for the next Kiuas Start is now open. Check out what’s in store and apply here. And if you want to hear more about our experiences, just send us a message (contact details here).

Oh, and our service that we wanted to develop? Well it’s just about ready, so keep watching this space. 😉

All the best,

Kirsi & Tanja

your partners in internationalisation


Hiring International Talent

Hello there! Congratulations on your decision to hire an international talent! We’re sure they will be an excellent addition to your team.

When hiring an international talent, the employer needs to take care of several matters from ensuring the right to work to keeping the employee happy in Finland. There is quite a lot of detail involved and we thought we would share our knowledge on these matters to help you along. This text explains some of the most important topics and directs you forward.


As you discuss the employment prospect with your future employee, remember to also discuss expectations, both theirs and yours. You should be able to convey what you are offering them and expect from them in return.

In addition, you are in the position to tell them about working and living in Finland since you very likely are one of their most important contacts here. They will have an idea about working in your company but if they do not have prior knowledge of Finland, they might not have much of an idea of what life is like here. So do tell them what you can, direct them to resources about Finland and Finnish culture, provide the opportunity to talk with a future colleague etc. We’d also be happy to provide you with relevant material, a training etc.

To begin with:

  • Agree on work related matters, such as tasks, salary, benefits, holidays, terms and conditions etc.
  • Tell them about working and living in Finland
  • Tell them to prepare their official documentation in advance
  • Direct them to additional resources
  • Connect them with your company’s HR
  • Connect them with a future colleague
  • Consider additional material, training etc.

PR puzzle3


As an employer, you are obligated by law to confirm that your employees have the right to perform the work you are hiring them for in Finland. For instance, if you are hiring a developer to work for you full-time for more than 3 months, they should have more than a visa for Finland. The right documentation is very likely either an EU registration or a residence permit for a specialist.

The right to work can be checked and acquired from the Finnish Immigration Services (Migri). Nordic citizens only need to register at the magistrate. You can read more about this in our previous text (link) and on Migri’s website.

Information for employers  and on the right to work.

You should ask your employee to provide proof of their right to work. You should confirm their identity and that the proof of right to work matches their details and the situation. It is advisable to take a copy, and remind the employee of the need to renew the permit, if necessary.

Proof of the right to work can be

  • EU registration certificate for EU residents
  • Residence permit for Finland, a visa or confirmation of visa waiver (under 90 days only) for non EU residents
  • Excerpt of the national population registration for Nordic citizens
  • EU Blue Card

NB! A residence permit for another EU country does not automatically grant the right to work in Finland. Check the situation with Migri.

You can assist the employee in taking care of their registration or residence permit. If the employee grants you access to the Immigration Service’s system, Enter Finland, you can add information and pay the fees as well. You can also make use of relocation services in this, and anything else related to moving and settling-in Finland.


Another obligation is to inform the local TE services, i.e. public employment and business services, about all foreign employees who are not EU citizens. The information should include key employment conditions and compliance with the collective agreement. If you are not sure what the relevant collective agreement is, contact TE services or the Confederation of Finnish Industries.

NB! Failing to comply with your employer obligations can result in a fine or other sanctions.


Obviously all normal employer obligations, such as safe working conditions, insurances, suitable tools and support services, apply to all employees regardless of their nationality. In Finland, the employer also takes care of the tax and other contributions from the employee’s salary. For more information, visit the tax office’s website.

The employee must provide you with a tax card or otherwise you must make a 60% tax deduction from the salary. The high tax can be compensated after the employee provides you with a tax card but it is better to get taxation right to begin with. Ask your employee to contact the tax office as soon as possible.

Most employees are enrolled in the Finnish social security system managed by Kansaneläkelaitos (Kela). Part of the contributions from a salary go to the social security system. An employee can apply for social security coverage from Kela. It is good to explain to the employee all the contributions that will be made from the salary, so that the net salary does not come as a surprise to them.

It is also good to note that pension contributions accrued into the Finnish system stay in the Finnish system, even if the person moves abroad. They can apply for their pension when they become of pensionable age in Finland, and the pension benefit can be paid to them anywhere in the world.

Taxation, social security and pension issues can be addressed in International House Helsinki, if the employee works or lives in the capital area of Finland. The service desk personnel can explain these matters in more detail, and a person can get their tax card and apply for social security coverage on the spot, for instance. For more information visit their website.


Moving to a new country or city is a big decision and entails more than just the bureaucracy. Obviously, induction to the work and working community is very important and as the employer, you need to pay attention to that. As mentioned earlier, international talents might wish for a more detailed induction into working and living in Finland, and usually appreciate help with many practicalities too.

Things to consider regarding settling-in

  • accommodation
  • daily life
  • induction to work
  • integration to local community
  • language courses

Wherever you live, the most important thing is to have some place to call home. One of the best things that you as the employer can do, is help your new employee find their new home. In addition, it is great if you can help them with issues related to daily life and getting to know their new city and local community. The rental market in Finland can be tight, especially in the capital area. Searching for the right place might take some time so it’s good to start early. Of course, furnished short-term accommodation is also available and it might be a good option in the beginning. For the longer term, it is usually better to find a ‘normal’ rental apartment since that is usually more affordable and also more comfortable.

Starting a new job is always exciting and surely your working community is full of great people. Hobbies, interest groups and networks are also great for making new friends and finding a good work-life balance. Learning about the local culture and language is highly recommendable, and key to really becoming a local. There are plenty of Finnish language courses available, and you can get a cultural training from us, for instance. The most important thing is to support your employer with starting their new job and life in Finland. A smooth start sets the course for a fruitful and enjoyable experience, for you and them.

We hope you found this information useful and helpful. If you would like any further assistance with international recruitment, talent attraction or training for instance, do contact us and let’s talk more.

Your partners in internationalization,

Kirsi & Tanja


Migri, Finnish Immigration Services

International House Helsinki

Kela, social security institution

Vero, tax office

Infopankki, information on living in Finland in several languages

Business Finland, information about working in Finland

Visit Finland, information about Finland